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Posts tagged with "Green Bay Packers"

The Packers’ best new face so far is the player selected with the 33rd pick in the draft.

Green Bay Press Gazette-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Green Bay Packers have 21 players on the current 53-man roster who were not on it at the end of last season.

Of those 21, the Packers acquired them as follows:

  • Nine free agent signings
  • Six picks from the 2017 NFL Draft
  • Three undrafted rookies
  • One player claimed on waivers from another team (Chris Odom)
  • One player signed off another team’s practice squad (Ulrick JohnCardinals)
  • One player who spent 2016 on the Packers’ practice squad (Lucas Patrick)

Of those players, however, two stand out among all others as the best newcomers to the Packers’ roster so far in this early season. Those two are the Packers’ top two draft picks, cornerback Kevin King and safety/nitro linebacker Josh Jones.

However, while Jones has been a playmaker in the middle of the defense, playing primarily inside linebacker over the past two games, King’s early emergence as a boundary corner has been critical to the Packers’ success in defending the pass.

For some context, the Packers are currently 5th in passing yards allowed, though their ranking drops to 17th in opponents’ passer rating and they are 15th in pass DVOA. Last season in those three measures, the team ranked 31st, 26th, and 23rd, respectively.

Still, the Packers have faced significant issues at the cornerback position this season, with veteran free agent signing Davon House missing two-plus games with an injury and third-year players Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins effectively being benched over the past two weeks. Not coincidentally, King has stepped into the starting lineup and since doing so he has largely held his own against a few of the premier wide receivers in the NFL.

After Julio Jones was torching the Packers in the early going during their week two game in Atlanta, King entered the game and shadowed him for much of the rest of the game, keeping him largely in check and not allowing a reception into his coverage. King struggled a bit more when asked to shadow the Bengals’ A.J. Green in week three, but played well against a brutally weak Bears’ receiving corps in week four. Furthermore, APC’s Peter Bukowski found this little nugget which, small sample size aside, is certainly notable:

Packers rookie Kevin King has a better passer rating allowed in coverage than Patrick Peterson, Desmond Trufant, and Marcus Peters.

Meanwhile, the players lining up at the other corner spots have rotated heavily. Randall’s struggles led to his benching against the Bears, meaning Josh Hawkins played every snap in the second half last Thursday. Rollins, meanwhile, was removed from the lineup prior to week three’s game, being replaced as the primary slot cornerback by Morgan Burnett.

Of course, Josh Jones has provided some highlight-reel plays, including a pair of sacks in week three and some notable tackles for loss. However, the Packers’ defense would still be able to function without him lining up in the middle — in fact, they did so for much of the first half against Chicago, moving him around and giving him some rest when they lined up with a pair of more conventional inside linebackers.

Remove King from the equation and the Packers would be down to an injured veteran, two benched third-year pros, a second-year undrafted free agent, and an undrafted rookie who has yet to take a snap on defense in a regular season game.

For that reason, Kevin King earns our vote as the Packers’ best newcomer over the first quarter of the 2017 season.

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Looking for insight on who to pick in the Week 5 games? We’ve got the answers.

Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

This week the oddsmakers see a strong weekend for the home teams, as 10 of the 14 Week 5 games have the home teams as favorites. Our panel of BTB writers is not quite as optimistic for the home teams, only picking them in eight of the 14 games.

But all of the above ranks a distant second to the key question Cowboys fans are asking themselves this week: Will the Cowboys beat the Packers?

“Of course they will,” say 10 of 11 BTB writers. And without further ado, here are our picks for Week 5, 2017.

Cole Dave Danny Joseph Manik Michael OCC RJ Strawn Tom VaFan BTB Consensus
Season W/L 40-23 42-21 36-27 42-21 38-25 42-21 39-24 35-28 32-31 40-23 33-30 40-23
NE (-5.5) @ TB NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE
LAC @ NYG (-3.5) LAC NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG LAC NYG NYG NYG NYG NYG
BUF @ CIN (-3) BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF
NYJ @ CLE (-1) NYJ NYJ CLE NYJ CLE NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ NYJ
JAC @ PIT (-8.5) PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT PIT
TEN (-3) @ MIA MIA TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN MIA TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN
SF @ IND (-1.5) IND IND IND IND IND SF IND IND SF IND IND IND
ARI @ PHI (-6.5) PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI ARI PHI PHI
CAR @ DET (-2.5) DET DET DET DET DET DET DET DET CAR DET DET DET
SEA @ LAR (-1.5) SEA LAR LAR LAR LAR SEA LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR
BAL @ OAK (-2.5) BAL BAL OAK OAK OAK OAK BAL OAK OAK OAK BAL OAK
GB @ DAL (-2) DAL DAL DAL DAL GB DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL
KC (-1.5) @ HOU KC HOU KC KC KC KC KC KC KC HOU HOU KC
MIN (-3) @ CHI CHI CHI MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN

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This team is so locked in that every game is just a business trip. That trip, of course, ends with someone forced into a lake of fire and under the watchful eye of an ancient demigod.

Dan Quinn has gone through a lot. In order to win games, he had to make sacrifices to a potentially evil metal falcon’s lake of fire. That has been pretty tough, but not nearly as tough as losing two separate Super Bowls to the New England Patriots thanks to his offensive coordinators.

“Never again,” says Quinn. The sadness that previously haunted him is entirely gone. One more season of sacrifices could lead him to that Lombardi trophy. “Time to crack a few eggs,” says Quinn, as the elevator door opens nearly 500 feet below the new Mercedes Benz Stadium.

“This feels a little weird, Dan, but at least you aren’t taking me into the old indoor training camp building again to push me into the…”

Robert Alford sniffs the air, and knows the strong smell of sulfur means he’s in for trouble. Can he escape the lost souls stuck in the fire? This is a new location for him, so he might run out of his normal cheats.

Alford!!! He’s been a mix of his terrible early 2016 and his fantastic late 2016. Ultimately, too many bad penalties and plays made him the worst player on the field against the Green Bay Packers.

So far, Quinn has sent both Wes Schweitzer and Alford to the lake of fire. 14 more and we are into the playoffs!

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The Packers’ head official weighed in on Saturday.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday evening, Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy issued a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s comments from Friday night regarding demonstrations by NFL players during the national anthem prior to games.

Here is Murphy’s statement in its entirety:

It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”

Support for players who do not stand for the anthem appears to be shared through different levels of the Packers’ organization. In August, general manager Ted Thompson was asked about the anthem demonstrations during a press conference in training camp, and responded with the following (per Packersnews.com):

“I view this as something that you’re asking me from a personal standpoint, not what I would do but what I would feel about a particular player if he made such and such action or if he failed to make such and such action. This is a free country, in my opinion, and free people can do what they like.”

Head coach Mike McCarthy did not specifically weigh in on the demonstrations himself, but mentioned in August (per Madison.com) that he gives a presentation to the Packers’ players regarding the anthem.

“Our approach has always been to give the history and the understanding of what the national anthem means, and why it’s played before any National Football League game, particularly how it started after World War II. I go through the whole history and the importance of what it means to you personally.”

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Ed West and Robert Brown to be featured alumni this week

Sunday’s Packers-Bengals matchup serves as the Packers annual alumni game, and will feature halftime introductions of several Packers Hall of Famers and more than 40 Packers alumni.

Among the alumni scheduled to attend are Donny Anderson, Zeke Bratkowski, John Brockington, LeRoy Butler, Paul Coffman, Najeh Davenport, Lynn Dickey, Boyd Dowler, Gerry Ellis, Marv Fleming, Jim Grabowski, Ron Hallstrom, Doug Hart, William Henderson, Paul Hornung, Eddie Lee Ivery, Chris Jacke, George Koonce, Jerry Kramer, Ryan Longwell, Don Majkowski, Dave Robinson, Bill Schroeder, Jim Taylor and David Whitehurst and Frank Winters.

In addition, the Packers are welcoming back featured alumni, Ed West and Robert Brown. Leading up to the game, West and Brown will be signing autographs and visiting with fans on Saturday, Sept. 23, from 11 to noon outside of the Lambeau Field Atrium near the Lambeau Leap statue.

The Johnsonville Tailgate Village will also feature West on gameday from 2 to 3 p.m., where he will be visiting with fans and signing autographs. More information on the Johnsonville Tailgate Village can be found online at http://www.packers.com/lambeau-field/johnsonville-tailgate-village.html.

Also on Sunday, Brown will be visiting with fans and signing autographs during that same time in the Legends Club on the Associated Bank Club Level, an area accessible to game attendees with suite or club seat tickets, as a guest of the ‘Alumni Meet and Greet.’

Ed West played tight end for the Green Bay Packers for 11 seasons (1984-94) after joining Green Bay as an undrafted rookie. His work ethic and versatility earned him the nickname “The Toolbox,” and he played in 167 games for the Packers, which is tied for eighth most all-time in franchise history. West is ranked fifth in franchise annals for touchdown receptions as a rookie (four) and he ended his Packers career with 202 receptions and 25 touchdowns.

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They weren’t able to against Chicago, but we like their chances better.

Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta had a relatively lame week running the football, thanks to mixed luck with blocking, a stout Chicago defensive line, and a less than stellar effort by Devonta Freeman and (in particular) Tevin Coleman. It’s safe to say I don’t expect that to be the case very often.

Will it be against Green Bay, though?

I do think Atlanta can pull down about 100 yards against Green Bay, but I don’t think this is the week that the ground game really explodes. Mike Daniels and that stout Packers line can be problematic, the team has a decent young set of linebackers, and they swarm to the ball pretty effectively. The Seahawks got about 80 yards behind a bad offensive line and did so only carrying the ball 18 times, but 40 of those yards were tied up in two carries by Russell Wilson. Atlanta won’t have it easy, but they should be able to get theirs.

Let’s hear your prediction for the game ahead for the likes of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, and then use this as your open thread for the night.

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The first-time NFL coordinators will be tested by a tough Packers teamBrett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons have one win in the books, and the team’s two new coordinators acquitted themselves reasonably well in their first action. Nobody was thrilled with the way Atlanta won in Chicago, mind you, but it was a win, and those remain important.

As D. Orlando Ledbetter wrote yesterday, the Green Bay game provides a stiffer challenge for Marquand Manuel on the defensive side, but it’s not going to be a peachy keen walk in the park or whatever for Steve Sarkisian either.

For Manuel and the defense, the challenge will be stopping Aaron Rodgers, dynamic running back/converted wide receiver Ty Montgomery, and a cast of solid receiving options that includes Jordy NelsonRandall Cobb, and tight end Martellus Bennett.

For Sark and the offense, the challenge is working against the Packers’ so-called Nitro package, which features a lot of defensive backs, and a quietly stout run defense. It’s not likely to hold this potent attack entirely in check, but with questions swirling in the fanbase about Sark’s aggressiveness and creativity after just one week, it could still create some disquieting setbacks.

As it turns out, the Bears did challenge both coordinators, but not in the same way you’d expect the Packers to. Chicago was only able to put up 17 points and got by chiefly on the strength of a strong ground game, while defensively Chicago did an impressive job of shutting down the run but couldn’t quite hold Matt Ryan and company in check. Atlanta’s extremely likely to score more than they did in Chicago against the Packers, but there’s a more opportunistic secondary here and a much better offense to contend with. It doesn’t figure to be easy.

If the Falcons impress here, I expect we’ll all feel better about Sark in particular. May they do so.

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The 2016 Atlanta Falcons were damn near unstoppable offensively. They gained more yards than all but 12 teams in NFL history and scored more points than all but seven. They gained more yards on a per-play basis than all but three teams in the history of football and they actually scored more points per drive than the record-breaking 2013 Broncos (2.90 to 2.83). Along with the 2007 Patriots and the 2011 Saints, they were one of just three teams since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002 to score a touchdown or field goal on more than half of their offensive drives.

It should come as no surprise, then, that in two games against a Green Bay Packersdefense that was largely below average for much of the season, the Falcons lit up the scoreboard but good. Atlanta scored 33 points in a last-minute comeback victory in Week 8, then racked up 44 in the NFC Championship Game on the way to clinching a Super Bowl berth. Considering the Falcons averaged 36 points per game in the Georgia Dome, where both of those games were played, again, it was not all that surprising that they hit 38.5 per game against Green Bay.

What was surprising about the two performances is that the Falcons tore up Green Bay’s defense — specifically, their pass defense — in drastically different ways.

Winning by going short

In Week 8, the Falcons attacked almost entirely via the short pass. Matt Ryan threw 35 passes during the game; 27 of them were intended for receivers within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, and six of those 27 were screens thrown behind the line, per tracking data from Pro Football Focus.

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Pro Football Focus

Many of those passes were thrown to receivers that ran quick-breaking routes after Ryan motioned a running back out of the backfield, leaving the Falcons in an empty set. Doing so forced the defense to declare its coverage, allowing Ryan to identify the man that would come open before the snap of the ball, and then get it to him quickly afterward. He completed all six of his pass attempts when the Falcons motioned into an empty set, gaining 52 yards.

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GREEN BAY (WLUK) — Cold weather season is coming up and the Packers want to keep all kids warm.

The annual Packers ‘Coats for Kids’ collection is scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 24 at Lambeau Field before the Packers-Bengals game.

Fans going to the game can bring new or gently-used winter coats for needy children

Cash donations will be accepted as well.

The Salvation Army will be collecting coats and cash donations at locations around the Lambeau Field parking lots beginning at 11:25 a.m.

Last year, the ‘Coats for Kids’ collection collected more than 450 coats and $10,000 in cash before the Packers-Cowboys game.

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On Monday, Nov. 27, 25 people will be selected randomly from the entries.

Those 25 winners will receive a $50 gift card to the Packers Pro Shop.

Of those 25 winners, 10 finalists will be selected randomly to receive a Lambeau Leap Instructional Overview and Meet and Greet with a Packers player at Lambeau Field and a Lambeau Leap tryout on Dec. 5.

The person with the best overall leap at tryouts will be selected the grand-prize winner.

The remaining nine finalists will receive a jersey autographed by a Packers player.

The grand-prize winner will be able to take the Lambeau Leap during the Dec. 23 game and a game ball from the contest, an authentic Packers jersey with your name on the back and four VIP sideline passes for pre-game and four club seats to the game.

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